NEWS | Oct. 3, 2019

USS Key West Participates in Exercise Pacific Griffin with the Republic of Singapore Navy

By Petty Officer 2nd Class Kelsey Hockenberger

COAST OF GUAM -- The Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Key West (SSN 722) participated in the bilateral exercise Pacific Griffin with the Republic of Singapore navy, Sept. 24 to Oct. 10 in waters off the coast of Guam.

Pacific Griffin is an biennial maritime exercise between the U.S. and Republic of Singapore navies, designed to enhance combined warfighting skills and tactical execution.

“The importance of these exercises in terms of strengthening interoperability among our regional network of partners cannot be overemphasized,” said Capt. Timothy Poe, Commander, Submarine Squadron 15. “It is yet another example of U.S. Navy efforts to maintain a presence in the region, preserve peace and security and preserve open sea lanes through safe and professional maritime interactions.”

This year’s exercise covered the full spectrum of naval operations, from live fire drills and tactical ship maneuvers to air defense and anti-submarine warfare.

“It was an honor for our Sailors to participate in Pacific Griffin, and reinforce the robust and enduring partnership between the United States and Singapore,” said Cmdr. Grady Hill, Key West's commanding officer. "We were able to demonstrate the lethality and proficiency of our crew in terms of tactics, targeting and live firing. I'm very pleased that my submariners were able to prove their readiness to fight alongside our regional partners."

For the crew of Key West, the highlight of their bilateral engagement was a sinking exercise (SINKEX), in which live fire from aircraft, a submarine and surface vessels sank a decommissioned Navy vessel.

"We are always thrilled for the opportunity to participate in complex military exercises like Pacific Griffin," said Lt. Adam Vieux, Key West's Weapons Officer. "Pacific Griffin not only strengthened our bilateral relationship with our Singaporean counterparts, but also sharpened our
warfighting skills. This exercise proved extremely valuable in our pre-deployment preparations and ultimately makes us better forward deployed warriors."

CSS-15 is located at Polaris Point, Naval Base Guam in Santa Rita, Guam, and includes four Los Angeles-class attack submarines.

The squadron staff is responsible for providing training, material and personnel readiness support to these commands. Also based out of Naval Base Guam are submarine tenders USS Frank Cable and USS Emory S. Land.

The submarines and tenders are maintained as part of the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed submarine force and are capable of meeting global operational requirements.